To help out during lambing or not.

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Fergus, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Fergus

    Fergus Member

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    How long do you wait for the ewe to deliver a lamb? When do you decide to help out?

    I've always found it best not to get involved for a couple of hours after the water breaks because a couple of moms decided to stop pushing if you get involved.

    What is the right amount of time to wait? I looked it up on the internet and it said: 4-5 hours after the water breaks and nothing is showing.

    What do you do?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    2 hours max. I know too soon is supposed to be wrong but I've never found it to be "bad".
     

  3. Fergus

    Fergus Member

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    Last year we tried to help out a ewe that had tried for a couple of hours. The lamb was very large and when we got involved she stoped pushing and had not fully dialated. That wasn't the best situation either. So it's hard to know what to do in any given situation.
     
  4. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    We had a yearling Hamp ewe lamb this morning and she pushed for a long time and never got past the front hooves. I don't like for them to push too long and no progress made because it wears them down so bad. So.....we went ahead and pulled the lamb. Hamp lambs have large heads and it's often times hard for first time moms. I'm glad we intervened because I don't think she would have gotten it out on her own. Ewe and lamb are doing fine. I think sometimes it comes down to gut instinct and a willingness to accept the consequences of that decision.
     
  5. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather have live lambs by helping too soon than dead lambs by waiting too long. The attitude of the ewe usually directs my actions, too. Some seem to "ask" for help. Those who have been doing this for a while will know what I'm talking about.
     
  6. Laurie J

    Laurie J Well-Known Member

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    Our rule of thumb is once the water has broke, we've got a couple of hours max before we have to worry about dead lambs. We'll help out sooner if they are in active labor - pushing - and nothing is happening.
     
  7. Fergus

    Fergus Member

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    This never was a question until last year. The lamb was too big but in perfect birthing position. Perhaps if we would have waited a little longer she would have been dialated enough to pass the monster lamb. As it were we waited a couple of hours after the water broke and then made the decission to help out. It took us over 2 hours to get the lamb out. (of course we lost the lamb)
    That's the point I start to wonder: The lamb needs to come out! - otherwise you loose the ewe as well. So if I had to choose between a dead lamb because we didn't pull soon enough OR a dead lamb AND ewe because she wasn't dialated enough to pass the lamb - I'd rather have a dead lamb ... .
    By the way: She had a lamb the same size this year without any help. Both are fine.